A Conyers man who was found inside a home with the body of his estranged wife has been charged with her murder, according to the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office.
An area resident had called dispatchers a little after 7:30 a.m. Nov. 3 to report that they had heard the sound of breaking glass and saw a car in the driveway of the Cochise Trail house. When deputies arrived in response to the burglary call, they saw a broken glass window and a man, Hakim Muhammad, 42, standing in the house. Muhammad reportedly opened the door for the deputies.
Inside, they found the body of the resident, a 43-year-old Conyers woman. Emergency medical personnel were called to the scene but did not find vital signs. She was declared deceased by the deputy coroner around 10:30 a.m.
"Investigators determined that Mr. Muhammad had staged the scene to appear as if forced entry had been made by a burglar in an attempt to conceal the murder of his wife," said RCSO spokesperson Sgt. Jodi Shupe.
A search warrant was served at both the Cochise Trail home and Hakim Muhammad's home on Cedar Lake Drive, since there was an indication the couple were at both places just before she died, said Shupe.
Muhammad was reportedly initially arrested Wednesday at the house and charged with burglary and then additionally charged with murder and concealing a death.
The two were married but estranged, according to reports, and lived just around the corner from each other. He had a 14-year-old son from a previous marriage and she had a 10-year-old son from a previous marriage, but the children were placed into DFACS custody until family members could arrive.
Neighbors said the woman had only recently moved into the house within the last two weeks, but that there were no previous visits by police or arguments that they could hear during that time. "This neighborhood is totally quiet," said one resident of eight years.
"The Sheriff's Office and Investigators can't say enough about how grateful we are that the person who called 911 did such an excellent job in reporting the suspicious circumstances," said Shupe. "Otherwise we may have never solved this case. Ultimately, because of her call, the deputies were able to intercept the suspect before he could finish his plan of concealing the murder and fleeing the scene of the crime."